Arden Station to feature ode to the history of rail

New monument at Arden Station

A piece of Victoria’s railway history has been gifted to the Metro Tunnel’s new Arden Station as a reminder of the important role trains have played in the state’s history.

The almost 170-year-old “Geelong and Melbourne Railways 1857” sandstone plaque has been installed at the station’s concourse entrance, on show in a custom display case.

The plaque was originally set in the wall of a workshop that once stood where Arden Station is today. It was first designed to commemorate Werribee Station’s opening but was relocated to North Melbourne in 1927 following a fire.

During construction of Arden Station the plaque was handed over to heritage conservation experts for restoration. Now in its new home, it will become a tangible connection to the past for passengers to enjoy for generations to come.

Metro Tunnel project director Ben Ryan said the plaque paid respect to Victoria’s industrious railway history.

“The Metro Tunnel Project is the biggest upgrade to Melbourne’s transport network in 40 years, but it’s important to remember how far we’ve come in the last hundred or so years,” Mr Ryan said.

“The historic plaque at Arden Station will remind people of the ingenuity that has gone into making Victoria’s railway network what it is today.”

With major construction of Arden Station now complete, rigorous testing will continue throughout 2024 to prepare the station for the Metro Tunnel opening in 2025.

The modern station with its distinctive brick arched entrance will become the heart of a future health and residential precinct just two kilometres from the CBD.

It will include bike parking spaces, drop-off zones, accessible carparks and will be within walking distance of the North Melbourne Recreation Centre, Arden Street Oval and the route 57 tram.

Work on the Metro Tunnel’s remaining four stations – Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac – is continuing at pace, with construction of Parkville Station nearing completion.

The Metro Tunnel will connect the busy Sunbury, Cranbourne, and Pakenham lines via a new tunnel under the city, creating an end-to-end rail line from the north-west to the south-east, freeing up space in the City Loop and creating capacity to run more trains more often. •

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